Jack Smith urged to call a 'veritable who’s who of the Republican Party' as witnesses in Trump trial
In a column for MSNBC, former U.S. Attorney Carol Lam game-planned out how the federal trial of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. for conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election should be conducted.
With Jack Smith's case recently filed case moving rapidly forward, Lam suggested a parade of witnesses should be the central focus of making the case against the former president and that high-profile Republicans should not be exempt from having to appear.
As Lam explained, the case that the special counsel will be allowed to present won't be bound by the same rules that restrained the House select committee on Jan. 6, which means GOP lawmakers who balked at being subpoenaed then would be compelled to appear.
According to the former prosecutor, "A review of the indictment suggests that Smith will have to call 30 to 40 witnesses to substantiate everything in the wide-ranging indictment. The indictment’s description of the 'conspiracy to defraud the United States' includes tense confrontations in the Oval Office, phone calls to legislators in seven states, more than 60 lawsuits, attempts to corrupt the Department of Justice, lies to electors, and a final push by Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, to pressure his vice president not to certify Joe Biden’s victory."
With that in mind, the former prosecutor urged him to call "a veritable who’s who of the Republican Party," which should include former Vice President Mike Pence as well as key GOP lawmakers who were in contact with the former president before and during the insurrection at the Capitol.
More importantly, she wrote, those witnesses would have to testify in public.
"Government witnesses in Trump’s criminal trials will have to testify live. They will be subject to cross-examination; this is Trump’s right under the Sixth Amendment to confront the witnesses against him. And, for reasons of efficiency, trial judges expect witnesses to testify in a single session about everything relevant to the trial," she wrote before explaining, "That means Smith’s witnesses may be asked to testify about a number of events that may not flow chronologically in Smith’s presentation of the case."
She then cautioned, "It also seems like the special counsel has pulled every lever in his control to narrow and simplify the trial — for example, by indicting only Trump and not his six alleged co-conspirators. But Jack Smith’s indictment still tells a big story, about Donald Trump’s desperate and wide-ranging attempt to overturn the results of a presidential election. With the limited time left on the clock before the 2024 presidential election, Smith’s biggest challenge will be telling that story to a jury as quickly as he can."
You can read more here.
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